It shouldn’t be this funny to see a tennis player mistakenly hit an umpire in the face. But it is

It shouldn't be this funny to see a tennis player mistakenly hit an umpire in the face. But it is

I’m told tennis is up there with golf on the list of leisure activities that aren’t as calming as they’re intended to be. While any miscue during a round of 18 is technically an unforced error, they’re documented in tennis, and there is a cumulative effect as the slight screwups can build to a moment of eruption.

Take Australian tennis player Marc Polmans, for example. During final-round qualifying for the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday, he attempted to go to the net to secure match point. Instead, his volley didn’t clear the tape, bounced helplessly back to him, and — in a moment of anger — Polmans smacked the sh*t out of the ball.

It’s a normal occurrence on the court, right?


The ball ricocheted off the frame, hitting the chair ump square in the face, and Polmans was immediately disqualified.

It’d be a little hard to tell where the ball would have gone after he thumps it if the ump’s head doesn’t violently jerk back, followed by him doubling over. Thankfully, Ben Anderson (the ump) wasn’t seriously injured, and was in good enough spirits to accept Polmans’ apology.

“An update from me — the umpire, Ben, has accepted my apology for my actions,” Polmans tweeted on X. “He knows it was unintentional, and I shanked the ball on the frame in frustration in the heat of the moment.”

The last part seems a little redundant, and I don’t think the Aussie will be absolved of his actions simply by stating it was “unintentional.” Even at 26, Polmans is old enough to know the value of composure, and no one is going to shrug off the outburst when it resulted in another person getting hit in the face.

Was it funny? In an America’s Home Video, butthole-clenching sort of way — yes.

Should I be laughing this hard? Probably not.

Watching people get angry might be my favorite pastime in sports. Whether it’s a baseball manager kicking dirt, a tennis player smashing a racket, or my dad whipping a golf club, the amount of laughs to be had watching another person Hulk out are innumerable.

So, shoutout Marc Polmans, and especially Ben Anderson, for brightening this day with some excellent physical comedy.

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.